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Today's Climate

05/20/2020

Trump Orders Agencies to Cut Regulations That 'Inhibit Economic Recovery'

An executive order signed by President Trump Tuesday is directing agencies to "identify regulatory standards that may inhibit economic recovery" from the coronavirus downturn, noting that regulations could be permanently or temporarily lifted. It's the latest deregulatory effort from an administration that has strived for unfettered fossil fuel development, our own reporting shows.

(The Hill)

EPA’s ‘Secret Science’ Rule Meets with an Outpouring of Protest on Last Day for Public Comment

Nearly 40 top scientific organizations and academic institutions jointly submitted a letter to the EPA opposing the controversial "secret science" rule, claiming it would severely limit the use of science in setting health and environmental policy. The comments came on the last day for public comment for the rule change, and included a submission from the world's largest scientific society.

(InsideClimate News)

Tree Deaths in Urban Settings Are Linked to Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines Below Streets

Dead or dying trees were 30 times more likely to have been exposed to methane in the soil surrounding their roots than healthy trees, according to a new study conducted in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a low-income immigrant community near Boston. The study also highlights the many interrelated environmental challenges, like air pollution, heat and high rates of coronavirus.  

(InsideClimate News)

Cyclone Amphan Makes Landfall, Slamming into India’s Coast During Pandemic

Cyclone Amphan slammed into India's coast on Wednesday afternoon, knocking down huge trees, bringing ropes of rain and sending millions of poor villagers rushing into evacuation shelters, The New York Times reports. The emergency response to the storm, which had wind speeds between 80 and 100 miles per hour, were complicated by the coronavirus.

(The New York Times)

Court Rules That EPA Must Protect States From Upwind Air Pollution

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that the EPA violated the law when it denied a request from Maryland and Delaware to tighten air pollution controls at power plants in upwind neighboring states. The decision could force the agency to impose new curbs on some coal-fired power plants, even as the Trump administration seeks to help the industry through hastened deregulation.

(Reuters)

100-Year Drought Hits Poor European Region Already Reeling from Virus

The worst drought Eastern Europe has seen in at least a century, coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, has poor villagers across parts of Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic fighting "a double war," Bloomberg reports. The drought is devastating harvests and exacerbating the region's economic woes as government leaders scramble for medicine and protective gear to fight the virus.

(Bloomberg)

Climate Change Is Turning Antarctica's Snow Green

Warming temperatures due to climate change are spurring the spread of algae that is tinting Antarctica's white snow green, a phenomenon becoming so prolific in some places that it's even visible from space, new research says. The study used two years of satellite data and is the first to shed light on the extent of the algae's presence.

(Reuters)

Coronavirus Fallout to Slow Global Growth in Renewable Energy

The global growth of renewable energy will slow for the first time in 20 years due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, a new report from the International Energy Agency predicts. The group warned that 2020 will see 13 percent less new wind and solar capacity built compared to the record roll out seen last year. But a rebound is possible in 2021, the group noted.

(The Guardian)

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